I believe many must have heard that Skoda Rapid and VW Vento are the same cars with different badges. I was under the same impression until I test drove these cars - 50km+ on each car with cars taken from 2 showrooms of Skoda and 2 showrooms of VW. Test drove on narrow alleys and broken roads behind the glitzy EC of Bangalore; test drove on Outer Ring Road, Hosur Road and Old Airport Road in the wee hours when traffic was less and of course in the dreaded traffic of Whitefield. I also drove my colleagues Ventos.
I test drove the cars at the start of the year i.e. before the face lit version of VW came up (the one with touch screen). All cars were Diesel and manual. There is quite a bit a difference between the two cars
Disclosure: After our test drives, I bought Rapid. My uncle bought Vento. Both 1.5L diesel
1. Lets get the easy ones out the way first. Vento looks different from Rapid on the outside
. OK, that is too obvious. But when I looked at the car more closely, I felt Vento's paint work was slightly better than Rapid. I dont like chrome but the chrome touch on the Vento is in very good taste and Rapid had none.
2. Once inside, almost every part is the same inside. Vento's steering wheel is flat at the bottom giving it a more premium feel compared the Rapid. Somehow, I felt the quality of parts inside Vento was slightly better than Rapid.
3. The clutch pedal position is very slightly high in Rapid compared to Vento. It was just that tinge of extra height on Rapid clutch which makes it slightly uncomfortable.
4. The rear space on Rapid is slightly more than that of Vento. Collaterally, the boot space in Rapid is less than Vento.
5. High end of Rapid comes with Halogen projector lamp while Vento does not get any
6. The mid variant of Rapid is much better equipped than mid variant of Vento.
7. There was a cost of difference of 40000 (after haggling with dealer) between the two cars with Vento being higher
8. Vento came with only one reverse gear light
9. The NVH level in Rapid is observably better than Vento once sitting inside.
10. Turbo lag on Vento is slightly more than that of Rapid. There is slightly lower low end torque in Vento compared to Rapid.
11. Steering is heavier on Rapid compared to Vento
12. The suspension setup is on stiffer side in Rapid compared to Vento